Physical literacy

The Sport for Life initiative

November 9, 2017

As a result of the Strategic initiative of the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation to make South Surrey/White Rock one of the healthiest communities in Canada, we have asked Sport For Life to lead us in the Physical Literacy objective.

This five year vital and transformative project is based on a partnership between the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation (PAHF)1, Innovative Fitness White Rock (IFWR)2 and the Sport for Life Society3 – a national not-for-profit organization whose participants include leaders from the sport, recreation, education, health and business sectors.

The Sport for Life initiative is focusing on all ages and all abilities, and this also ties in nicely with our recently announced All Ages, All Abilities park to be located by the oval at Centennial Park.

The tangible benefits of physical literacy

Physical literacy is the foundation of both participation in physical activity and excellence in sport, providing a gateway for being active for life. Individuals who are more physically literate move with poise, confidence, competence and creativity in various indoor and outdoor environments – on the ground, in the air, in and on water, and on snow or ice.

  • Children perform up to 40% better on standardized tests
  • Children are more likely to make decisions that reject harmful substances
  • Children develop a broader range of social skills than their inactive friends
  • Children boost their graduation rate by 15%

The overall project goals are to see 33,000 of our children, youths, adults and seniors increase their confidence, competence, and motivation to be physically active for Life.

Physical literacy for all ages

To quote Drew Mitchell, Director of Physical Literacy, Sport for Life: ‘Physical activity is a lot more fun when we’re physically literate. If we want to be active for life, we need to develop physical literacy in all ages. We are very excited to be working together with school teachers, coaches, recreation professionals and health practitioners to provide them with access to a wide range of resources that can help people become physically literate.’

Mechanics, consistency, intensity

Our approach is scientific, incorporating the principle of mechanics, consistency and intensity. Good movement throughout childhood and adolescence is key. Consistently good mechanics translates to physical literacy, enhanced sports performance and fewer sports injuries for kids. Not only that, a vast body of research indicates that exercise is beneficial to cognitive function – in all ages, but especially as we get older – which means consistent adherence to the program can have a positive impact on children’s academic achievement.

Core values

Program initiator, Curtis Christopherson, Innovative Fitness’ first franchisee owner observes: ‘Here at IFWR we support initiatives that align with our core values. We are committed to the education, training and mentorship of this project as it leads to a healthier community. By encouraging and supporting active living, health promotion and participation in physical activity and sports we can expect longevity of all ages being active for life.’

Healthiest community possible

Making South Surrey White Rock the healthiest community possible4 is our goal, and we’re well on our way to achieving that noble and uplifting objective. Physical literacy, along with financial literacy, are both crucial to the wellbeing of our community. I urge you to participate in whatever way you can.

Geoff Funke
Senior Wealth Advisor
Scotia Wealth Management